FEEDING KEETS (w/ video of mine eating RED DOTS and drinking really CHEAP vodka)

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by cowcreekgeek, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Now that I've got your attention? Those of you that have raised keets know that there ain't no such thing as "Guinea Starter" on the shelf.

    I bought the Gamebird/Showbird Feed, but mixed a *limited* amount of Medicated (with Amprolium) Chick Starter for better protection from coccidia, as my keets share a divided brooder with twenty-six newly hatched chicks.

    [edit] CAUTION: My theory that the tremendous appetite of my keets may result in overdosing them appears to be in error, as PeepsCA suggested that underdosing with Amprolium may actually do more harm than good ... [/edit]

    I stressed *LIMITED* amount, as these fowl are eatin' machines ... fear they'd easily OD on medication(s) and/or supplement(s).

    [edit] One far more experienced has suggested that I may be doing more harm than good by limiting their intake of Amprolium, and that his many guineas/keets appear to have never suffered any harm -- see PeepsCA's post below.[/edit]

    I also added wheat germ and, recently, have introduced a small amount of rolled oats.

    [​IMG]


    Now that they're gettin' a bit older? I've begun adding the smaller seeds from a songbird mix, after slightly crushing them. If not for fears of disease, I'd just leave 'em in the plate an hour or two, and return for what remains -- the cardinals picked out all the black-oil sunflower seeds.

    SoOo, folks ...

    Q: What do you suggest feeding, and at what stages of development?
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  2. dragonlair

    dragonlair Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's nice to know they can have small amounts of medicated feed! I'm really new to keets, so I am no help to you but I will follow this thread because I need to know these things too!
     
  3. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm far from an expert on any of this, but have found good support for the inclusion at least *some* amount of Amprolium in the diet of guinea fowl keets, which do require higher protein levels (24-28% is the range I've seen) than ordinary chick starters provide. They also consume a considerably higher volume of food, which adds to my concerns over adding antibiotics to their feed -- these dropping won't be added to my gardening compost. I probably would be saving them for the flower beds, if not for worryin' that it might affect the something else in some other way. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I'm not personally a fan of anything that isn't natural, most esp. if it doesn't break down completely. And, I don't wanna put anything in 'em that's gonna negatively impact their development, or later be found within their eggs/meat.

    Amprolium seems to work by blocking the thiamine uptake of, and thereby carbohydrate synthesis by, eimeria, a genus of apicomplexan parasites, various species of which causes coccidiosis. You can --> PECK HERE <-- to open it's listing within the drugs.com database in a new window. Bambermycin (CAS registry number 0011015-37-5), an antibiotic containing moenomycin A and C, is reportedly an ingredient here, in the US.

    To bet ter control dosage and protein concentrations, and keep the feed really fresh, I mix it into a smaller container that I keep at a fairly constant level by adding my components alternately -- that's the best way to avoid sudden changes in their diet, and also allows me to slowly increase, and then slowly decrease, the dosage. My thinkin' on this is that it's then more like worming your dog (which, now that the fleas are better controlled, I probably oughta do ~'-)

    [edit] MY THEORY APPEARS TO BE FLAWED [edit]
    One far more experienced than suggests I may be doing more harm than good by limiting their intake of Amprolium, and that his many guineas/keets appear to have never suffered any harm. See PeepsCA's post below.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  4. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've started/raised a couple thousand keets on several brands of high protein starter feeds medicated with Amprolium to help the keets build immunity to coccidiosis... and have always fed them free choice. I have never ever had any OD issues. (Same with Turkey poults, that tend to gorge themselves on food more so than keets do).

    Under dosing however can cause issues, by not offering them enough protection so that they are able to build immunity, and IMO you might as well just feed non-medicated feed instead and deal with the risks associated with feeding non-medicated starter feeds, instead of thinking that rationing it down is doing them any good, it's not.

    Not all medicated feeds are created equal, and not all medicated feeds are medicated with Amprolium... so be sure to read the labels. Some medications in certain starter feeds can harm and even kill keets.
     
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  5. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I found your post while out the road, and was so concerned over this that I hacked around on the source of my posts via smartphone, and just cleaned 'em up a bit, directing others to this post. Hopefully, you can continue to share your thoughts in this thread, as I've a mere fifteen keets barely tucked in my belt, and plan to farm this land 'til I'm scattered over it (that generation of birds will most probably use my ashes for grit ~'-)
     
  6. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Found a songbird mixture that targets gold finches, pine sisken, redpole and finches ... ingredients are millet, nyjere (thistle), canary grass seed, hulled sunflower chips, flax seed and grain products. Protein minimum is 12%. Fat minimum is 5%.
    Keets are into their fourth week, and I have already been including a very limited amount of seed (mostly millet and thistle) and small chick grit.
    Should I continue to only sprinke a bit of this seed into the bottom of the feeder, on should I slow incorporate it into their food?
     
  7. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just to clarify, I didn't say you were doing your keets any harm... but you aren't helping them build immunity to or prevent Coccidiosis by feeding them a lowered level of Amprolium. And at a lowered dosage you might as well not feed medicated feed at all.

    When to lower the protein for keets is debatable, and a lot of people argue the fact that keets need to be raised on high protein starter for one reason or another (usually it's wallet related, or a convenience issue because that's what they feed their chicks or mixed flock, or just want to buy one bag of feed, or they can't find the right kind of feed in their area, etc etc)... but keets aren't baby chicks, and their nutritional needs are not the same either. (Their nutritional needs are closer to Turkeys' or Pheasants' actually... Guineas are game birds). Personally, for optimal growth I would keep the keets on a high protein starter feed until they are 6 wks old, using small amounts of the seed mix as just a treat, since it is so low in protein. (Then I'd wean them over to a grower feed with protein level of anywhere between 20-24% until they are 12 weeks then wean them over to a 16% layer feed which can be their staple diet from then on... but not everyone feeds their Guineas like I do).

    A good quality, high protein starter feed for Turkeys/Pheasants/Game Birds has everything in it that the keets need to help them grow, develop and feather out fast. (And whether it is medicated or not is up to you and your particular poultry set up/situation). But being 4 wks old with Fall and cold weather closing in... you really want those birds to grow and feather out as quickly as they should. Lower protein slows development and feather growth for keets, and winters can be rough on under developed/young birds. Mixing small amounts of seed in with the starter feed won't hurt them, but obviously the more you mix in the more you lower their protein intake. Seed (usually millet is what is most commonly used) is great to use for a reward as they grow and you want to start with their cooping up/come when ya call them training...

    And yes, if you feed them anything but starter feed they should have chick grit either mixed into their feed or available free choice (but some keets will try to dust bathe in it if it's given to them free choice).
     
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  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I fed my keets medicated game bird startena with ( if I recall) 28% protein. A lowered level of amprolium won't provide any protection from cocci. The full level hardly provides any as it is.
     
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  9. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It takes me forever to shop, mostly 'cause I still feel the need to read every label, despite the fact that I most nearly can't anymore. turns out that Amproplium isn't an antibiotic after all. And, I've studied just enough biology and chemistry to make this very inquisite and overly talkative plowboy a bit dangerous, as I get so caught up in the details that I look right past the most obvious things.

    I was thinking of Amprolium as an antibiotic, as it's reported in the US market to contain Bambermycin, which is an antibiotic complex containing moenomycin A and C. However, Amprolium is listed as a coccidiostat, and as a thiamine analog, that inhibits the intake of thiamine, which the Eimeria (the apicomplexan parasites most often responsible for coccidiosis) requires in order to metabolize carbohydrates.

    Birds of any type may consume Amprolium throughout their lifecycle, from day one 'til their last, even if it abruptly ends just in time for dinner. This is of Amprolium, alone, as there are many variations that should be withdrawn (most frequently five days) before consumption. It does build up in their systems, and can be found in their products and tissue, and there's a potential that a deficiency of thiamine (which is Vitamin B1) may result. The Wheat Germ I included is about 1/3 protein by weight, has been fortified with Vitamin E acetate and folic acid, and provides a high amount of thiamine, which is what Amprolium by design blocks from coccidia ... doin' the math roughly, I've now struck good balance for my chicks 'n keets.

    Turns out that both birds and animals can be overdosed, resulting in polyneuritis (an inflammation of many nerves) and/or delayed development, both of which appear to be reversible save for extreme cases. But, as both speckledhen and PeepsCA pointed out, it ain't likely to happen when medicated feed is the sole source of Amprolium. I've briefly reviewed the results of many studies found, including an excellent and well-controlled comparison of cattle, in which weight gain per pound per day was a bit lower within those that received Amprolium, but I find it unlikely that chicks/keets/poults/etc. could eat enough commercially-provided feed to cause anything more than negligible differences. I'd be glad to provide additional links, but --> PECK HERE <-- for a Summary Report on Amprolium, conducted by the Committee for Veterinary Medicinal Products in PDF format.

    SoOo ... despite all uncertainty, I have made a trip to a few local stores, and picked up several more bags of starter and feed, as well as additional grains and seed. Yes, I'm gonna continue to experiment a bit with their diets, and I am still a bit uncomfortable with anything thas isn't (or, doesn't later become) completely natural. However, all my birds are gettin' Amprolium. I personally witnessed what coccidiosis does as a child, and I'm just not willing to place them (or myself) at risk of suffering through it.
     
  10. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A slightly off-topic follow-up, but there's a waterer in this video that inspired another (which can be seen in another thread w/ a video of my chicks). So, this seems a likely spot to add this photo:

    [​IMG]

    To better explain: The rivets/screw fasten the 2-liter bottle's lid down to the inside of the Miracle Whip jar's lid, which is just the right size/shape to snap firmly inside of the bottom of the same jar (once it's been cut off, of course ~'-)

    Again? Please be careful when cutting containers ... whether sharp or dull, the plastic seems to resist the blade as if you were cutting steel, only to allow it to suddenly and unexpectedly slip through as if you were cutting through paper ... which, turns out, you weren't. If this happens to you?
    Remember not to the wounded limb too tightly, and to keep pressure on either it, or the artery supplying that area, 'til you can get stitched up.
     

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